Article by David Brown, Lift
Public Safety Canada issued documents recently showing they are seeking an outside contractor to help them determine if Canada is prepared for an increase in cannabis testing requests after legalization. The report, entitled “Capacity of Forensic Laboratories in Canada to Test for Drugs” notes an expected increase in roadside checks and random screening of drivers for drugs after marijuana is legal.
While different companies are working on breathalyzers to detect cannabis, the expected influx will be in relation to “samples originating from a human body”.
The contractor the agency seeks to hire will need to work with approximately 80 different labs across Canada as well as some in the US, and provide a report back to the government. The increase in testing is expected to be for both drugged driving investigations, as well as private employers and ensurers seeking to determine if employees or policy holders are following rules relating to the terms of a contract.
Increases in cases of cannabis-impaired driving are a concern for the RCMP and Federal Government as the government moves towards legalizing marijuana. The report cites a doubling in recorded levels of driving under the influence of cannabis in Colorado after Legalization in 2012 (from 5.7% in 2012 to 12.3% in 2014) and an increase from 19%-33% in Washington. One of the report’s own citations shows that no evidence is available showing increased levels of traffic fatalities after legalization, despite increased instances of THC in drivers’ bloodstreams. The correlation of THC in the bloodstream is difficult to connect to actual impairment, and statistics from US states are still very new.